Beaverton,OR-Advanced, low-voltage CMOS semiconductor technology has hit the mainstream design market, bringing with it tighter timing margins, shrinking propagation delays, and setup and hold times that are moving well below 10 nanoseconds. These higher and higher operating speeds for every type of computer controller, whether for machine tools or semiconductor equipment, mean a greater need for high-speed test and measurement equipment.
Add to this the need for familiar interfaces and controls on test equipment, and you get the reason behind the design of Tektronix' latest logic analyzer series. The TLA 600 Series is the company's most affordable member of its TLA logic analyzer family. It reportedly offers breakthrough performance of 2 GHz timing for $7,000.
The 600 Series is also the first logic analyzer in its price range to bring the company's MagniVu acquisition technology to the Open Microsoft Windows user interface and PC platform.
The TLA 600 Series was designed for hardware and software applications in which timing measurements are critical. The analyzer combines microprocessor trace with 500 ps timing resolution, simultaneously on all channels. It does so, says the company, without the need for re-probing, as some lower-speed analyzers require.
MagniVu is the digital sampler acquisition technology that Tektronix uses in its high-end analyzers to provide timing resolution on all channels. Almost tripling typical resolutions for such instruments, the 500 ps rate reportedly enables a user to detect timing anomalies, such as set up and hold violations and glitches, with a higher degree of accuracy.
MagniVu is a digital oversampling architecture which asynchronously acquires all input signals, including clocks, via a full-custom, high-speed digital sampling front end. Sampling at the rate of 2 GS/s, this chip supports 500 ps timing resolution on all channels. Tektronix uses a unique circuit architecture based on key elements of its oscilloscope technology to provide the timing resolution of the TLA 600. By designing in a delay chain composed of eight 500 ps delays to time a set of eight sampling circuits (all driven by a 250 MHz clock), the device achieves oversampling with no degradation of the signal and minimal skew.
The 600 Series is composed of twelve instruments, each with channel widths ranging from 34 to 136 channels and memory depths from 64K to 1M samples per channel. Although eight of the instruments offer an integrated display and keypad, four of the models use an external PC monitor for users who work remotely over a network, have limited space, and/or desire additional cost savings.